CMC* Machinery:
Creative Construction for Kids

Martin Sombathy

In cities, most of the public playgrounds are focused on physical activity, but play is not only about exercising children's bodies. It can also teach them to be creative, resourceful, and to collaborate.

With that in mind, CMC* (Child Manual Control) Machinery introduces an alternative to the current play state in public places. The collection consists of three tabletop sized machines that can cut, bend and connect cardboard.

The Cutter can cut in straight lines or curves. Its only limitation is the maximum cutting width of 16” (410mm). To perform a cut, a piece of cardboard is simply pushed through the middle slot of the machine, where a blade splits the material.

The Bender makes it easy to create bends by creasing the cardboard with a scoring wheel. The machine operates the same way as the Cutter with the same dimensions and limitations. After the material is pushed through the middle slot, it can be bent along the edge of the upper slot or simply bent in hands.

The Joiner is used to connect cardboard. Two pieces of cardboard are inserted in two slots, and handles are pressed down to perforate the material. One slot makes a cut-out, and the other die-cuts a shape that locks into this opening. Cardboard is then joined manually by interlocking pieces together in either perpendicular or flat position.

Compared to most existing toys, the size of kids' creations is not based on the size of the building elements available in the kit. Machines anchored in place and loose construction parts being made of free and easily accessible material give CMC* Machinery an advantage in public places, where small parts might get lost and would require replacing. Moreover, these machines extend the lifespan of material otherwise considered waste, and after serving its initial duty, that same cardboard encourages play, provides joy, and helps bring kids’ creations to life.

CMC* Machinery



Martin Sombathy is a designer interested in cross-disciplinary collaboration in design. He believes in social and technological innovation, but often influenced by tradition. Martin's passion are materials, production methods, and experimentation with both. His work includes projects in graphic, packaging, and product design. Martin has experience in each of the roles from being a designer to managing a project or even setting up small scale ceramic manufacturing.

︎    martinsombathy.com
︎    martinsombathy@gmail.com


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